La Plaza

News from Latin America and the Caribbean

« Previous Post | La Plaza Home | Next Post »

Mexican tradition of massage lives on in Tijuana

March 24, 2009 |  8:55 pm

United States tourists might be staying away from the Mexico border city of Tijuana these days due to soaring drug violence, but the mystical masseuses, or "sobadores," as they're known, are doing big business with Mexican laborer clients who head south to ease the aches and pains from their U.S. day jobs.

"The "sobadores" set up shop every morning alongside Tijuana's Cathedral in their battered SUVs outfitted with massage tables and curtains for privacy. They rely on a mix of massage and faith to cure everything from sore backs to bad knees -- at $20 (300 pesos) to $50 (700 pesos) a pop, reports the Associated Press.

Despite tighter border security and crackdowns on illegal immigration, "sobadores," whose skills are handed down through generations here in Mexico, say business remains steady because most of their clients work legally in the United States.

Read the full report at the AP link above.

-- Deborah Bonello in Mexico City